March 25, 2008 According to the Washington Post, six of the largest baby bottle manufacturers will discontinue the sale of baby bottles that have been made using bisphenol A (BPA) in the United States. The manufacturers were approached by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the attorneys general in Connecticut and New Jersey and were asked to voluntarily stop selling products containing BPA.
What are the risks associated with BPA?BPA is a chemical that is used to make polycarbonate plastic and has been used commercially in a variety of plastic products (including food and drink containers) since the 1950s. A number of recent studies have raised consumer concern regarding the safety of BPA, with research linking the chemical with breast cancer, a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes and possible effects on the brain and behavior. Whilst the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains that the current levels of BPA in food containers do not pose an immediate health risk to infants, they do suggest that concerned parents should choose baby bottles made from glass or other substitutes and avoid heating formula in polycarbonate baby bottles.
Safer alternatives to plastic bottlesA number of baby bottle manufacturers have responded to community concerns regarding BPA and other toxins in baby bottles and have produced a variety of bottles they claim are safer for infants. Parents may decide to use glass bottles such as the Evenflo range or may consider newer products such as the Adiri natural nurser bottle which features a silicone nipple and is guaranteed to be free from polycarbonate and BPA.
Silicone baby bottlesOther manufacturers are turning to silicone as a safer product to use for baby bottles. Besides being BPA-free, silicone is flexible, can be safely heated, is dishwasher safe and resistant to scratches. The Nuby SoftFlex Silicone nurser has a soft air silicone base which allows the parent to gentle squeeze the base to aid in feeding and includes anti-colic vents. The makers of the Innobaby Nursin Smart Grow claim that because their bottle is flexible it can help to reduce gas and the flexible silicone nipple aids in supporting the natural suckling action of the infant.
Prince Lionheart is another company that is committed to providing parents with a safer feeding range, producing silicone feeding products that are made from materials entirely free of BPA as well as Phthalates, lead and PVC.
“Prince Lionheart created a new feeding line using silicone, a natural substance that contains no chemicals and is 100% safe for babies,” said Kelly Griffiths, President and CEO of Prince Lionheart. “Now, parents who are concerned about the health of their babies have a safe and natural alternative to plastic baby bottles.”
Like other silicone bottle manufacturers, the Prince Lionheart Company claim that due to the flexible nature of silicone, bottle feeding with their bottles provides the infant with a more natural feeding experience and could help to curb colic and gas. In addition, the bottle’s one-way venting system can also assist in reducing the chance of colic.
At least parents now have a number of alternatives when it comes to making a decision about the baby bottle they will use for their child.